Have We Found the Floor?
July 31, 2009
Yesterday, the Case-Shiller Index — considered the most objective index of US home prices — reported, as pertaining to April to May prices: “10-city and 20-city composites reported positive returns for the first time since the summer of 2006…the first time we have seen broad increases in home prices in 34 months. This could be an indication that home price declines are finally stabilizing.”
For the SF Metro Area (i.e. greater Bay Area, NOT just SF), C-S reported gains of .6% March to April, and 1.4% April to May. Year over year, C-S reported an overall metro area decline of 26.1%. Read the full article here.
From my own experience, I can happily say that things are picking up. Home of the Week 1617 Fulton went into escrow after just 5 days or so on the market with a pre-emptive offer. My listing at 640 Judah got three offers after just a short time on the market, and buyers who I am working with now are regularly competing in a field of 3 or more offers. To be clear, these deals are all well under the $1MM mark, and activity is definitely being driven by the availability of financing available at very low rates. Homes that are not eligible for these low rates – most TICs and homes requiring a loan over $729k are not moving nearly as briskly (if at all -oh so gorgeous Home of the Week 116 Sugarloaf has been on the market over a year and has been reduced from $7.5MM to a mere $4.5MM).
The below charts show that there has been a substantial increase in sales volume, and about a 20% decrease in homes selling under asking price. Volume for the two weeks ended July 15 was 172% of what it was for the period ended March 18 of this year. It is too soon to tell if the decrease in homes selling under asking price (and the commensurate increase in those selling over) means that prices are climbing. However, my recent market experiences tell me that there has been a shift toward underpricing homes to attract attention (and multiple offers) in the “affordable” sectors of the market.
Well, it’s changes like these that keep things exciting and I am really happy to be participating in these busy times due to the support I get from all of you. Thanks, as always for your referrals and for letting me be your go-to person for your real estate needs.